30 years later, fireworks return to Hamtramck

Hamtramck firefighter's essay wins national contest

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – A much-loved Hamtramck tradition gone for decades returned Saturday night as fireworks lit up the night sky. It was a welcomed sight for the tight-knit community.

For more than 30 years, the city of Hamtramck hasn't had a fireworks show because of budget issues, but that all changed Saturday.

The whole event came together because of the town's fire chief. About 2,500 submissions were sent in to Destination America from across the country explaining why their city deserved a fireworks show, and in the end Prescott Arizona and Hamtramck won a $50,000 fireworks show.

The excitement was building through the evening at Keyworth Stadium. Thousands of people searched for the best spot to watch the fireworks, and it was all thanks to this firefighter who has been with the Hamtramck Fire Department for 15 years.

His essay won a national contest and when you hear his passion for the city, you know why.

A lot of people who were there Saturday couldn't remember the last fireworks show in Hamtramck. The rest weren't alive to see one.

If there have been cultural tensions in the past, you couldn't tell Saturday night. The city of 22,000 was united and ready to celebrate Independence Day.

In a testament to the cultural awareness at this event, it is Ramadan and organizers brought a Halal truck for Muslims who are fasting, so they had something to eat when sun went down.

About the Author: